Vivaldi License and Contributions

  • In a number of different threads, people have reasonably pointed out that although Vivaldi isn't offered under any common open source licenses (GPL/BSD/MIT/etc) it's still possible to examine UI code and contribute to development by contacting the developers. For example, this thread describes a contribution made by a user who contacted the developers with specific suggestions for changes to the code.

    What confuses me is that the contribution there seems to have been made in explicit violation of the license. The license I'm about to agree to directly states the following:

    1. Without limiting the foregoing, you are neither allowed to (a) adapt, alter, translate, embed into any other product or otherwise create derivative works of, or otherwise modify the Software ; (b) separate the component programs of the Software for use on different computers; (c) reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or otherwise attempt to derive the source code for the Software, except as permitted by applicable law; or (d) remove, alter or obscure any proprietary notices on the Software or the applicable documentation therein.

    It seems, then, that contributing is possible, because the source code has been opened to public view (here for example). But contributing is not allowed by the license, because any modification is prohibited.

    I'd be totally happy with a version of 7 above that prohibited distributing modified versions of the software. That seems like a reasonable compromise. But that doesn't appear to be what 7 is saying at all.

    I'm going to agree to this license now, because I'm interested in the browser, and I'm not a FOSS zealot. But I am experiencing some cognitive dissonance about this. I guess the idea is that Vivaldi has a license, but the company routinely condones violations of that license at its whim? That's not exactly a recipe for legal enforceability. Or is there something I haven't understood about how the license works?

  • @senderle

    Disclaimer: I am not a legal expert.

    From what I can tell:

    7)a) means you can't put Vivaldi code into another product. You can make changes to it on its own.

    7)b) I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "separate the component programs" but I think this just means don't redistribute any part of it. Now that looks like sharing the code on github (in your example) would be a violation, but sending the code directly to the devs would follow the rules.

    7)c) If you live in a country that allows code reverse engineering, you're fine

    7)d) If you keep the license notice included then you're fine. The example you cite includes the comments in the start of the source file for this.


Looks like your connection to Vivaldi Forum was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.